SBD/February 28, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Brian France Discusses NASCAR's Decision To Change Points Format, Chase For The Cup

France said he does not worry about how recent changes will affect his legacy
NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France this week sat for a Q&A with Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS and discussed his decision to change the Chase for the Sprint Cup format. Excerpts from the Q&A are below.

Q: What made you comfortable rolling this out now as opposed to a year ago or a year from now?
France: Because things came together for us in terms of figuring out not just the Chase, but also how you qualify for the Chase -- winning a race, etc. We didn’t have that policy all in a way where we felt comfortable where it all came together (before 2014).

Q: Would this type of Chase have been possible 10 years ago or would that have been too drastic a change?
France: I think it might have been. Sometimes you have to evolve things and that’s probably the smoother way to do things. This is exactly what we did. ... I do think I would be really surprised if there were any significant changes in the foreseeable future. The reality is while we made a lot of adjustments, they’re relatively small.

Q: What are you most confident this new system will do and what are you more just wondering what it will do?
France: There’s not an incentive for being consistent; really the majority of incentive is winning. And so I believe you’ll see more people take chances late in the race; I think strategies will change.

Q: When people talk about your career, the leadership on the 2001 consolidated TV package and the changes to the points system in 2004 are the most talked about. Now with this, is this bigger change in the Chase going to be your legacy?
France: I don’t think about things like that. We make the best decisions that we can given the opportunities in front of us or the challenges in front of us. Whatever happens, happens. I do think this will be a format we’ll be using 20 years from now because I think it is going to excite our fans (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 2/27). 
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